Two scientists at Cambridge University Primate Research Center, named Dr. Warren and Dr. Clive, were attempting to eliminate all homicidal rage, because, prior to their experiments, a series of uncontrollable rage-induced rioting had spread all round the nation over the last few weeks. The police had told Dr. Clive it was getting uncontrollable and they asked them to find a cure for domestic rage. Dr. Clive and Dr. Warren were paid by an international board of businessmen named the Financiers to create a drug that would isolate neurochemicals in the brain that cause excess anger and aggression in humans. They developed a drug and got a violent, anger-filled criminal from a police station to serve as a test subject for the inhibitor. When the man was administrated the drug, he was not effected; so Warren increased the dosage. This, instead of making the man calmer, made the man crazed with rage. He broke out of the restraints and knocked Warren to the floor. As he was about kill Clive, Warren recovered and bludgeoned the man to death. They later buried the man's body on a hill. Clive then sneezed at the cemetery; which gave Warren the idea to use a contagion as a delivery system for the drug once they worked on it more. Dr. Warren then decided to take Clive's idea that they should experiment on animals. At first, Warren considered using Influenza as the drug's delivery form. But soon changed his mind when he found several genomes inside of the Ebola Virus that would perfect to mix into the inhibitor. After some more work with the inhibitor, and mixing it with Ebola, Warren and Clive administered their new drug to their chimpanzee test subjects. But, unbeknownst to the scientists, several isolated genomes inside of Ebola reacted violently with the drug, and it had been mutated over the coarse of about two weeks. This mutation of the Ebola Virus reacted to the inhibitor's effects, and reversed them. Now, instead of inhibiting and controlling rage, the inhibitor now instead amplified rage in it's host over a thousand times over. Filling it's host with completely mindless and uncontrollable rage and hatred towards everything around them. Thus, the Rage Virus was born.
The two British scientists were completely unaware of this; and injected the drug into some chimpanzees test subjects. The both their shock and horror (and to Warren's anger); the chimpanzees became erratic, rage-filled, and began to bleed from their mouths. Clive then mocked Warren for doing the exact opposite of what he had originally intended to do.
Quoting: "You've created a Rage Virus!"
This drove Warren into a mad fury and he violently assaulted and fought Clive. This finally pushed Clive over the edge and he quits the project. Clive then later informs an Animal Freedom Front about what Warren had done to the chimpanzees and then attempts suicide, but fails.
Role in 28 Days Later
The AFF later break into the university to free the infected chimps. A scientist attempted to call security, but was stopped by one of the members. They then asked the scientist to explain himself and the scene around them. He told them repeatedly to not free the animals; as they were "infected". After being questioned about what they were infected with; the man only answered "Rage". The AFF members disregarded his pleads to not let the chimps out (as they were infected with the Rage Virus) and they release one of the chimps. Not knowing of the highly contagious Rage Virus that was in their bodily fluids. The freed chimp then bit open the woman's neck, releasing the Rage Virus into her system. She quickly began to spasm and bleed from her facial orifices. The bitten woman had become the second infected human in the United Kingdom (the first being the hooligan; who was infected with a prototype version of the virus). The now rabid and infected woman then vomited her infectious blood the faces of three of the other members of the AFF. Who became the third, fourth, and fifth infected humans. Dr. Warren (who was unaware of the Rage Virus' release upon the university) was talking on the phone when he heard continuous and annoying banging on the office door. When Warren went to investigate, he was attacked by the knocker; an infected monkey, who quickly infected Warren. And from there, the Rage Virus began to spread in a massive domino effect all over the United Kingdom.
Four weeks later, a courier named Jim awoke from a truck-induced coma and found that the whole of London was deserted, all its inhabitants having been killed by the Infected hordes - the Rage Virus had prevailed. He survived numerous attacks by the Infected and eventually escaped the country with the help of more survivors.
Another month later, The Infected had all died of starvation.
Role in 28 Weeks Later
This sequel starts during the Original Outbreak of the Rage Virus and has several survivors in a cottage, hiding from the Infected. Among them is Don and Alice Harris, whose kids are in Spain and thus escaped. A young boy comes rushing in and reveals he has been followed by the Infected, who attack, screaming and biting, and Infect or kill nearly all the survivors. Don gives up his wife for dead, and runs off, pursued by the Infected, who do their best to kill or Infect him, but he manages to go downriver, where they cannot follow.
Some weeks later, the Infected are all dead of starvation and NATO begins repopulating Britain.
When Alice's kids do return, they meet their father, who lies about Alice being dead, as he never saw her die. So his kids go off looking for her. They do find her, in their old house, but they also find that the Army has followed them and takes them back to the Headquarters. The Army do blood tests on Alice and find her Infected by the Rage Virus, yet somehow showing no symptoms - she is a Carrier of the Virus. Later that night, Don goes in to Alice's room and apologizes for leaving her, kisses her, and is Infected by the Rage Virus, kills Alice, and infects one man, therefore, starting the Second Outbreak, killing many and Infecting a sizeable amount of people. Don's kids survive and they escape with soldiers and are pursued by the Infected, yet the Army defeat many Infected with an airborne helicopter attack. Don's kids and Scarlet make their way into the Underground in London, yet it is filled with those the Infected have killed, and they have trouble moving, and the Infected Don appears halfway down the stairs and kills Scarlet. Leaving his kids to escape on their own. Don then reappears and tries to Infect his son, yet his daughter kills him. She checks her brother to see if he is Infected, yet he has become a Carrier like his mother. So they escape to France with the surviving Flynn.
However, a month later, a Third Outbreak has occurred, in France. The Outbreak was presumably caused by Andy.
28 Months Later
A third installment of the franchise named 28 Months Later is believed to be in production. In which the Rage Virus and The Infected will return.
The Rage Virus has symptoms like rabies, and the Ebola Virus, which is its origin. Quickly transforming a host into a killing machine within 30 seconds. When someone gets infected, they will begin to feel pain. This pain then turns into server agony. And the victim will begin to spasm uncontrollably while beginning to bleed out of their eyes, nostrils, and mouth. The hosts cough up and vomit copious amounts of blood regularly. The Rage Virus, as it's name suggests, causes the hosts to be filled with mindless, animalistic, uncontrollable, all-consuming rage and hatred for the uninfected and everything around them. The Rage is so extreme that The Infected can no longer hold emotional connections with uninfected friends or family, now viewing them as enemies.The Virus causes the Infected to all have bloodshot, glaring red eyes, and they bleed from their noses and mouth and scalp. The Infected drool blood, presumably because their internal organs have all been destroyed and mashed up by the Virus, leaving them a never-ending supply of blood to drool out and Infect others with. Their blood is a weapon, because it is Infectious, and can Infect anyone it comes in contact with.
The Rage Virus can also give its hosts extra stamina, causing them to run for hours and miles without ever tiring. They will run forever, as long as they have an uninfected human on their heels. As soon as their prey leaves their personal space, they will stop running. The Infected also can last for up to three months without food, before eventually dying of starvation at the climax. The Rage Virus causes those Infected to twitch their limbs constantly when they are not running, due to the replication of the Virus throughout their system.
The Rage Virus' quite (possibly) deadliest aspect is it's short incubation time of 10-20 seconds; and with that, how rapidly it can spread. The Rage Virus has massive domino powers. Being able to ravage whatever landmass it breaks out on; destroying and stomping out any military or army blockades standing in their way. Also being able to start by only one person getting infected, then that person will spread it to someone else, and in less than an hour, thousands of people will have become infected in one area alone.
There appear to very rare types of Infected that have much higher forms of intelligence than most others. As of now, Donald Harris is currently the only known Infected who possess this certain degree of control over the Rage Virus (although private Mailer could have also had higher intelligence). It's currently unknown what causes this higher intelligence and higher self-awareness in the Infected. Or if there are or will be anymore Infected with this degree of self-control.
Such displays of higher intellect include:
He escaped Alice's cell with his ID card rather than smash through the door or window.
He seemed to smile after killing Alice. He also appeared to watch sadistically as the Infection spread in the safety room. Interestingly, the infected chimpanzees from the first film began clapping and cheering after the activists started spreading the Infection. This possibly meaning that the symptoms of the Rage Virus aren't as server in animals than it is in humans. And that the chimps and Don appear to retain some kind of sadistic thought processing.
He appeared to target military personnel particularly to reduce their numbers and weaken District 1's defenses.
He also appeared to be focused solely on killing rather than both killing and infecting like other Infected.
He hid for cover when NATO firebombed District 1 in a failed attempt to stop the Infection.
He appeared to be actively stalking his children rather than blindly and mindlessly attacking them on sight.
He ambushed Scarlet and bludgeoned her to death with Doyle's rifle. The other Infected don't use any weapons; just their bare hands. Nor do they bother to try ambushing prey. They just mindlessly attack on sight.
A new method of transference was seen in the sequel 28 Weeks Later due to humans called Carriers, who could transfer the virus with infectious blood but show no signs of psychopathic rage the Infected normally produced. Notable Carriers included Alice Harris and her son Andy. Carriers were a threat to other people; thus the US Army wanted to kill Alice to eliminate the threat of Alice starting another Outbreak; yet Donald visited her against protocol and she unintentionally Infected him. Alice was notable for an Infected as she was not suffering any dementia or rage, yet she did glare at soldiers with hostility, even when they professed a desire to help her and treat her well. It's also interesting to note that Dr. Bellinsworth has implied that there are other Carriers besides Alice and her son. Also since the only known Carriers in the franchise so far have had Heterochromia; it's implied that this is some how linked to a Carrier's resistance towards the Rage Virus. This could also mean that Tammy (Alice's oldest child) is most likely not a Carrier like her mother.
Also, Alice's eyes did bleed dark red, yet this was the only thing relating her to the other Infected.
The idea of human Carriers in any disease is not so far-fetched; most diseases find a way to survive by lying dormant, toying with their human enemies, and then strike back when least expected, often by lying dormant in an uninfected host.
If the Infected have any weakness at all, it's that they are so solely focused on killing people and spreading the Infection that they no longer care about self-preservation; leading to their eventual deaths from starvation. They also no longer care about keeping themselves safe and healthy. They make no effort to avoid any kind of physical danger; like gunshots and fire.
- The Virus is called "Rage". "Rage" is also the French name of rabies. Perhaps due to this, the third outbreak was in France.